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Parents, your phone use is annoying your teens

More than a third of children have asked their parents to get off the internet, saying it disrupts family life, according to a survey.


Most parents don't think their internet habits annoy their children.

MediaforMedical/Emmanuel Rogue

Mums and dads, step away from your phones.

It turns out that as much as parents worry about their children's internet use, children worry about their parents' habits.

Thirty-six percent of children between 11 and 18 have asked their parents to stop checking their mobile devices, according to a survey of 2,000 students and 3,000 parents carried out by nonprofit Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, a professional association for teachers. Of those children, 46 percent said their requests were ignored and 44 percent said their parents' internet use upset them.

Internet habits could be well affecting quality family time, with 22 percent of children saying that mobile use has stopped family members from enjoying one another's company. The students were also traditional about table manners, with 82 percent saying they believe phones should be banned at mealtimes.

On the other end of the spectrum, only 10 percent of parents think their internet use upset their children, showing a disparity between parental perceptions and children's actual feelings. However, parents did recognize their phone use might be excessive, with 43 percent of the adults saying they spent too much time online.